It feels like every other story in the news this month—or this past week even—has been about some racist jerk who has a problem hearing Latinos speak their native language—Spanish. In fact, a Montana Border Patrol agent recently admitted to questioning two U.S. citizens on Wednesday just for speaking Spanish at a gas station store.
The two women were Latinas. Ana Suda, a 37-year-old woman was just picking up some eggs and milk with a friend of hers when a border patrol officer stopped them in the parking lot after hearing the two speaking Spanish. The officer immediately approached them asking for identification and documents.
But it gets worse. The women even got the patrol officer to admit on video that he only stopped them because they were speaking Spanish. He was completely shameless about it.
“So can you tell us in the video please why you asked us for our IDs please?” one of the women asks him. “Ma’am the reason I asked you for your IDs is because I came in here and I saw that you guys were speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” he said.
Apparently he had an issue with hearing two Latinas speaking Spanish in a store that’s located in a state that’s “predominately English-speaking.” How gross is that? Fortunately he didn’t attempt to detain them and didn’t get aggressive or physical but regardless, there is definitely something problematic about a border patrol officer stopping two women just because they are obviously Latina. In other words, he automatically assumed they were undocumented because they were Latinas.
There seems to be this strong intolerance towards Latinos that hasn’t been going away in this country and racist folks apparently get triggered when they hear us speak in Spanish. Just last week a White-American lawyer threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on employees at Fresh Kitchen, a cafe and eatery in Midtown Manhattan, for speaking in Spanish. The man literally lost it and not only had the nerve to say “This is America” but accused them of being undocumented.
“My guess is they’re not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country,” he said. “They have they have the balls to come here and live off of my money? I pay for their welfare; I pay for their ability to be here. The least they could do, the least they could do is speak English.”
Fortunately, the A-hole was recorded and the video has since gone viral which lead to a GoFundMe campaign titled “Mariachis for Aaron Scholossberg,” which was created to raise money to throw a huge Latin party outside of his apartment. The campaign managed to raise over $1,000 in just one day and on Friday a huge group of folks gathered in front of his apartment building and former office in Manhattan protesting for him to be disbarred. There were also Mariachi bands singing songs like “La Cucaracha.”
Apparently it worked because the company that owns the building where Scholossberg’s law firm was located has officially terminated his agreement with them because his actions “were contrary.”
In April, a Latina reporter named Claudia Tristán was harassed on social media for pronouncing El Paso correctly and in Spanish.
Discrimination against people of color and the Latino community is nothing new in the states. But what’s upsetting is that it’s still happening quite frequently—even in 2018. Our current political climate and having Donald Trump as president certainly doesn’t help. If anything, it has probably contributed to the intolerance.